WELCOME TO OLE' BILL'S MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

NOVEMBER 2011


THIS MONTH IN QUARTERHORSE HISTORY

4Nov04: TF 2-2 commences Operation Phantom Fury in Samarra, Iraq.
5Nov66: Operation Attleboro begins.RVN
8Nov66: Battle of Ap Cha Do. RVN
8Nov04: Operation New Dawn. Fallujah,Iraq.
9Nov89: Fall of the Berlin Wall. End of the Cold War.
10Nov90: BRO deployment to Desert Shield announced.
10Nov96: BRO takes command of Task Force Eagle in Bosnia, Tuzia Base.
11Nov18: WWI Hostilities End. Veterans Day.
12Nov65: Battle of Ap Bau Bang on Hwy 13. A Trp earns first Valorus Unit Award in RVN.
14Nov65: Operation Bush Master begins.RVN
19Nov67: Operation Shenandoah II ends.RVN
20Nov65: Battle of Trung Loi.RVN

24Nov69: Battle of Trapezoit IV. Last major battle in RVN.

 
 
 

THE BATTLE OF AP BAU BANG

12 Nov 1965

Opening Guns



The rubber forest on the Lai Khe plantation was mature. The dense, deep canopy cooled the red earth sixty feet below, and the men of the 3rd Brigade were grateful for that. Now, as October passed into November, the yellow blast of the midday sun was truly debilitating, but the green of the forest made it bearable. The wet furnace of the southwest monsoon would soon give way to the northeast flow that would bring dry air from the northern Asian plains. The days would still be hot, the nights more comfortable. The soldiers did not yet use blankets for sleeping; light ground-sheets were just right.
The Lai Khe plantation covered the gently rolling terrain north to the fortified hamlet of Bau Bang, about two kilometers from the command post, by the Soui Ba Lang, a paddy-lined stream that crossed Hwy 13 at that point. Just short of the bridge and on the east side of the highway, slept the hamlet of Ap Ben Cau, once home to a few rubber workers but now abandonded.
Another three kilometers north was the small settlementcalled Ap Ben Dong So. Here the old railroad bed approached the highway from the southeast and the little yellow station still stood sadly alongside. From here to Bau Bang, two more kilometers north, the rubber trees grew close to the highway only on the west side, while the railroad bed advanced through brushland paralleling the highway on the east. Bau Bang straddled the highway, and the narrow ribbon of pocked asphalt cut a wide breach in the earthen wall that surrounded the hamlet.
Four months after its violent but inconclusive engagement with the 272d Viet Cong Regiment at Bau Bang, the 5th ARVN Division was still unable to secure, with any confidence, passage between Lai Khe and Chon Thanh. Its successive failures throughout its zone during the spring and summer and the punishment it absorbed at the hands of the Viet cong main force, doubtless softened whatever starch was in the original fabric. The relative absence of aggressiveness by the ARVN divisions was not so much a consequence of timidity as it was a recognition by their commanders that the resources for successful forays into enemy territory were not available. The indispensable resources were enough helicopters to carry battalions into enemy zones, capitalizing on shock, concentration of mass, surprise, and the firepower necessary to over come ambush. Lacking this mobility and firepower, ARVN expeditions usually used trucks as far as practical, then the infantry continued on foot. Almost inevitably this technique invited ambush with disastrous results. The ARVN infantry lack the firepower to neutralize the enemy’s advantages of surprise, shock, and concentrated, pre-planned fires. There were no fighters-bombers on call, usually no artillery in range, and few if any armored vehicles in the column. Furthermore, Viet Cong agents had little difficulty penetrating ARVN headquarters; there was ample evidence that planned operations were regularly compromised.
The Third Brigade was settle and ready to go. General Westmoreland wanted to give it some field experience as soon as possible in order to build its confidence in its ability to deal with the enemy main force.
MACV intelligence analysts believed that all three regiments of the 9th Viet Cong Division were near Bau Bang. The Phu Loi Battalion was also in the vicinity, probably east of Hwy 13.
When General Thuan’s request for assistance in securing the move of his 7th Regiment on Hwy 13 reached headquarters MACV, it was a made-to-orfer mission for the 3d Brigade at Lai Khe. The brigade commander Colonel William D. Brodbeck, on of the several seasoned combat infantry leaders in the 1st Division, selected the 2d Battalion of the 2d Infantry for the task. The 2d Battalion was let by LTC George Shuffer, the only black battalion commander then in the division.
Highway 13, someone called it Thunder Road and the name stuck. It seemed to draw steel, a magnet for fire and destruction. The 2d Battalion of the 2d Infantry, with Troop A of the 1st Squadron of the 4th Cavalry attached, and with Battry C of the 2d Field Artillery Battalion, 33d Artilery in sport, would soon find out what the name meant.
The 2d Battalion was assigned responsibility for securing the road from the brigade perimeter at Ap Ben Cau north to Bau Long Pond, just south of Ap Bau Long. The distance to be covered was about 13 kilometers. Because 105mm howitzers could range onlya little past Bau Bang from positons at Lai Khe, Battery C of the 2d Battalion, 33d Artillery (reduced from six to four cannons for this mission), would march with the column and select a firing position from which it could cover the entire area of operations of the task force. This meant, of course, that the infantry would have to provide security for the artillery battery position.
The 2d Battalion task force moved out of the brigade perimeter on the warm morning of November 10th. The lead elements reached Bau Long pard without incident. The brigade and battalion civil affairs teams distributed 950 pounds of rice, 100 pounds of beans, boxes of milk, clothing and CARE packages to the villagers of Ben Dong So and Bau Bang. The brigade’s medical team treated minor ailments in both villages.
The first night in the field passed without enemy cotact. Colonel Shuffer and his command group bivouacked with Company A in a clearing just north of Bau Bang. By four o’clock in the afternoon of te 11th, the last ARVN unit cleared the task force area. Colonel Shuffer ordered Companies B and C to move into their night defensive positions: one was north of Bau Bang, the other south. He ordered Company A and the Cavalry troop into a defensive position on the southern edge of Bau Bang to provide security for C Battery there. Also in the perimeter were battalion’s reconnaissance platoon and the task force command group.
LTC Shuffer chose this position because it was close to the center of his area of operations and, in the no unlikely event that the Viet Cong had reconnoitered his position the night before, the new position would frustrate any plans the enemy might have for an attack this night. The battery could fire in support of the other two companies from here, and except for the berm around Bau Bang that rose fifteen feet or so above the terrain to his north, he had good observation and field of fire in all directions. This small force of fewer than 350 men occupied a perimeter 900 meter from east to west; 600 meters from north to south. The hard-baked ground was an old peanut field overgrown with waist-high brush. As they moved into their positons, the howitzers and personnel carriers beat down most of the vegetation and covered everything with a fine gray dust
The C Battery commander laid on platoon of two howitzers so that its primary direction of fire was west. The other platoon was laid pointing north. The guns at Lai Khe could handle missions south of the Position. The four 105’s went into position just north of the center of the perimeter, behind two rifle platoons of Company A that manned the forward edge.
Three mortar carriers (M-106’s) of Troop A were positioned on the left of the howitzer battery. Their hatches were open to permit firing the 4.2-inch mortars from the carriers. The 18 armored personnel Carriers of Troop A covered the southern approaches in a line that curved on each flank to tie in with the infantry platoons. Behind the carriers, in the center of the line, was Company A’s first platoon. In the center of the perimeter was LTC Shuffer with his command group and reconnaissance platoon. The eastern edge of the perimeter was 200 meters from highway 13. The jungle on the west was at least 500 meters distant, and the rubber trees and jungle on the south were 300 meters from the line of cavalry. It was a good perimeter with barbed-wire all around. Individual fox holes were dug by everyone, but darkness fell before these hasty fortification could be improved with greater depth and overhead cover. The artilleymen constructed earthen wall in front of their howitzers.
The company A mortar platoon, 81mm, registered its defensive concentrations and its barrage, as did Troop A’s 4.2 inch mortars. No barrages were assigned to te artillery, but a few concentrations had been registered by Battery C and Lai Khe artillery.
The only thing that worried Shuffer was that earthan wall, the berm around Bau Bang, only 150 meters from his forward foxholes.

INTRODUCING THE OPPOSITION - VIET CONG)


Nguyan Khac Minh had an abscess on the inside of his right ankle. It had started three days ago with an insect bite. Then it became infected. Tiger Balm did not help and now there was a red line approaching the underside of his knee. The throbbing was persistent, almost unbearable.
Minh saw the Americans for the first time just south of Bau Bang. They were making clouds of dust with their “tanks” on the old, shattered and cratered asphalt of Hwy 13. (Minh thought they were tanks, and he counted 21 as they filed past.) Now and then he could see the tall Americans walking through the rubber on the west of the road. Minh limped into Bau Bang to see that many women, children, and old men, amny of them friends of his, had gathered near the center of the compound. Something unusual was happening. Three American trucks were in the midst of the crowd. One had a red cross on a white background painted on it’s side. Minh drew closer.
There, beside the market, beneath a sheet-metal roof, were a table and a few chairs and six or seven big Americans. They were obviously medical people, for they were treating the villagers who came forward. The Americans had cases of pills, bandages and bright instruments. Minh’s let hurt so badly, Minh hobbled forward.
The doctor was quick and kind. The pain was sharp when the lance entered the pustule, but it was brief and the yellow mass discharged swiftly under the pressure of the surgeon’s fingers. The relief was wonderful. Then there was an injection of some wonderful American cure and a small box of tablets. The Vietnamese interpreter with the Americans, a young man from Saigon, explained how and when Minh should take the pills.
With a bandage covering the wound, Minh expressed his genuine gratitude and left the market of Bau Bang, walking slowly on the trail toward Ap Nha Mat, nine kilometers west through the jungle of the Long Nguyen Secret Zone.
Nguyen Khac Minh was not the only Viet Cong agent who reported to the advance headquarters of the “Cong Truong 9) that afternoon. Several others had seen the American force on Hwy 13. The main elements were centered on Bau Bang. Here was a beautiful opportunity to show how the combat-seasoned soldiers of the 9th Division could destroy the best the Americans could put in the field, “tanks” included.
The division cadre discussed the situation. The reconnaissance party returned late in the afternoon of the 11th with the news that there were no tanks, but there were 21 armored personnel carriers, four 105 howitzers (their muzzles pointing north), and about 150 soldiers in the clearing on the northern edge of Bau Bang.
The plan, discussed, completed, and put in motion, was no departure from previous successful operations. Just at sunset, six soldiers from the 273d Viet Cong Regiment entered Bau Bang through a secret tunnel on the west edge of the hamlet. The squad was escorting two political cadre, one from the 9th Division and one from the regiment, who met with the Bau Bang Viet Cong hamlet chief and his staff in a small house near the market. They explained that the Cong Truong would bring some weapons and the soldiers into the hamlet that night. There would be a brief battle in the morning as the “peoples’ soldiers” annulated the Americans. No people should leave the village but all should sleep in ther shelters and tunnels that night. Each house had a deep pit under the floor, and each pit opened into a tunnel that would provide protection from any enemy bombardment. The village chief reported that the Americans had moved from north of the hamlet to the peanut field on the south. The 9th Division cadre departed immediately upon hearing this news. He and the squad of riflemen hurried back along the familiar trail to Nha Mat, covering the five miles in under an hour. The attack plan would have to be changed now that the Americans had moved south of Bau Bang. Fortunately, none of the force had begun to move east out of Hha Mat.
A brief radio message was sent to the Phu Loi Battalion commander, alerting him to a change in the plan. A liaison agent was then dispatched to meet the Phu Loi Battalion east of Highway 13 at Bau Bang. He carried with him a sketch and orders detailing the changes in the attack plan.
The mortars and recoilless rifles were moved after dark into familiar positions at Bau Bang. Firing data for the mortars was already available; ranges and deflections were known. Even so, some check-rounds were needed. Two rounds from the base 60mm mortar were fired just after 10 o’clock. Then they were ready. The recoilless rifles were placed on the reverse slope of the berm that surrounded the village, on the southern edge facing the American position.
One battalion of infantry from the 273d Regiment quietly moved into Bau Bang. Another, the Phu Loi Battalion from Ben Cat, infiltrated stealthily into the brush on the east side of highway 13. It took up positions behing the old railroad bed. The third battalion, part of the 271st Regiment, following a guide from the reconnaissance company, was delayed reaching it’s position in the rubber southwest of the Americans. It’s reconnaissance party was ambushed by an American Patrol just almost daylight. A detour was required, and the battalion was not in position until almost daylight.
LTC Shuffer had passed the order that stand-to would be at 0600 hours. In order to be ready, the men on watch began waking the sleeping troopers at 0500. The drivers performed their before-operation checks and started the engines on the personnel carriers. The night ambush patrols returned to the perimeter; the patrol from the southwest sector reported with more details about its brief midnight fire-fight. The men were looking forward to a hot breakfast. It was being prepared in Lai Khe and would arrive on the company mess trucks shortly after six. The task force would resume its sweep of Hwy 13 as soon as breakfast was over.

THE BATTLE AT BAU BANG, 12 NOVEMBER 1965

It was five minutes past six in the morning. Platoon Leaders were meeting with their Platoon Sergeants discussing the plans for the day’s operations when the first volley of mortar rounds fell inside the perimeter, belching black smoke. In the clouds of gray dust that followed, infantrymen scrambled for their foxholes; the Cavalrymen to their armored sanctuaries to man the machine guns. The cannoneers ran to the guns and prepared for the first fire-mission of the day. LTC Shuffer told his radio operator to call brigade and tell them that the battalion was under attack. Among other things, that call cancelled breakfast. He radioed for reports from B and C Companies. Nothing going on in either sector.
The mortar bombardment continued for ten minutes. It was all 60mm, between 50 and 60 rounds in all, and the only casualties were two wounded cavalry troopers. Immediately the Viet Cong infantry assault began in the southwest sector. From fifty meters beyond the wire, under the covering fire of another volley of mortar shells, machine guns and rifle fire, the battalion of the 271st Regiment charged forward out of the thicket of bruch and young trees. The cavalry troopers responded with their .50 caliber machine guns, their m-60’s, rifles and grenade launchers. Then to the obvious dismay of the Viet Cong, the cavalrymen on the south side of the perimeter charged the advancing enemy over the wire with a sweeping assault and a storm of machine gun fire, roaring engines and crushing tracks. The cavalrymen then wheeled and returned to it’s positin within the perimeter without a loss. But during this action one of the mortar carriers sustained a direct hit. The round detonated inside the carrier, setting off the ammunition load and killing or wounding the entire crew. By this time all officers of Troop A were seriously wounded and unable to continue in the battle.
By the time the Viet Cong commander ordered his decimated battalion to withdraw, the 105mm howitzer concentration called for by LTC Shuffer had begun to fall in the rubber to the rear of the retreating battalion. Pulling back was not easy. Nearly every able soldier was dragging or helping another wounded, dead or dying comrade.
While the Viet Cong companies and platoons were making their tortuous withdrawal from the machine gun beaten zone, here came another line of armored personnel carriers, guns blazing, engines roaring. The American cavalry platoons pressed the counterattack to the edge of the rubber forest. Three Viet Cong mortar crews had no chance to escape the fire or to recover their weapons. The cavalry run over the mortars, grinding them into the dust of the peanut field. An enemy infantryman ran forward out of the trees. He aimed his flame thrower at an armored personnel carrier but was killed by a machine gunner on the vehicle before he could light his torch.
It was not yet seven o’clock. But to the troopers and infantrymen it seemed that the attack had lasted all day. Heavy fire from mortars, recoilless rifles and machine guns continued to pour into the perimeter from inside of Bau Bang and from behind the berm.
LTC Shuffer was in constant radio contact with his brigade commander, Colonel Brodbeck. The brigade was responding to all requests for artillery support. By 6:45 a forward air controller (FAC) arrived overhead with a flight of A1H Skyraiders. LTC Shuffer asked them to put their load on the woods north of Bau Bang. He couldn’t ask them to strike Bau Bang itself because it was a populated area, therefore designated a “no fire zone”. The bombs and 20mm cannon fire in the woods had no effect on the incoming ordance LTC Shuffer was receiving from Bau Bang. He was in the midst of his request to COL Brodbeck for permission to fire into Bau Bang when the next Viet Cong assault began.
The Phu Loi battalion charged across Hwy 13 from the jungle and brush behind the old railroad bed. It was met by concentrated fire from the right flank of Company A and the heavy machine guns of the Cavalry APC’s on the west end of Troop A’s Line. The assault withered, staggered and died in the middle of the road. As the shaken Viet Cong dragged their wounded back to defilade behind the railroad embankment, the 155’s and 105’s from the Lai Khe batteries began raining high-explosive on the Phu Loi Battalion’s assembly area. Casualties mounted rapidly as the battalion commander ordered a withdrawal eastward away from this storm of fire and flying steel.
Meanwhile LTC Brodbeck relayed and reinforced COL Shuffer’s request to hit Bau Bang. He called General Seaman at Di An. The 2d Battalion task force was suffering many casualties from fire out of Bau Bang and from the earthen wall surrounding it. It had beaten off three strong infantry assaults but was still dangerously vulnerable to destruction by attrition. It had no way to silence the mortars in Bau Bang or the recoilless rifles firing from position-defilade behink the berm. The artillery battery and Mortar Carriers of the cavalry were firing into the berm with little observed effect on the enemy gunners.
Relayed through COL Brodbeck, LTC Shuffer received General Seaman’s approval to strike Bau Bang just as the enemy infantry, the battalion of the 273d regiment, swarmed over the berm and charged the front of the two platoons Company A, four howitzers and Cavalry Mortar Carriers. It was quickly obvious that this was the main attack. Violent and costly as they were, the first three attacks were probes compared to this one, although the 9th Division Commander probably would have reinforced the success of any one of them. But they had challenged the strength and mobility of the American position and had not broken through anywhere; they had not even reached the barbed-wire barrier.
Covered by the fire of their machine guns, recoilless rifles and mortars, the 273d reached the concertina in front of the American infantry. Here they were stopped by the Machine guns of the cavalry and infantry, and by the devastating fire of the 105mm howitzers. The gunners of Battery C set the projectiles for two-second delay. Then they lowered the muzzles to fire into the ground just a few yards in front of the battery. The shells would hit and skip like flat stones across a still pond and, when they were above the attacking enemy infantry, explode in dark red and black clouds and jagged shards of steel.
The violence and volume of the American fire forced the enemy to withdraw. But not before one squad had worked its way through the barbed-wire and up to the number one howitzer (on the left of the battery). The Viet Cong squad lobbed a grenade into the midst of the crew serving the connon, killing two and wounding all the rest. But this courageous enemy squad died there too.
Now it was 0730, and another flight of bombers was overhead, ready to be directed to its targets by the FAC. These were A4 Skyhawks from a US Navy carrier. LTC Shuffer told the FAC to hit the berm. He wanted most of all to silence the recoilless rifles and heavy machine guns that were firing from that position. The flight of A4’s did it’s job, and it was quickly followed by two more flights of skyraiders with 500-pound bombs, napalm, and followed by two more flights of skyraiders with 500-pound bombs, napalm, and CBU*(Grenade sized bomblets, a devastating anti-personnel munition) that they expended on the berm. Meanwhile, Battery C continued the fire with more high explosives into the berm and, now that permission had been granted, with rounds timed to burst over the mortar positions in Bau Bang.
A brief quiet descended over the smoke, dust, and mournful murmers of the battlefield. Helicopters for medical evacuation, call “dust-off,” settled into the center of the perimeter. The “dust-off” departed quickly with the wounded that had been gathered near the command group.
It appeared for awhile that the enemy was through for the day. Many of his soldiers lay dead or dying in front of the American positions. But he was not finished. At 0900 he attacked again over the berm. Battery C responded with 65 more rounds of 105, timed to burst over the attacking ranks. Another flight of fighter-bombers appeared overhead. These were F-100’s carrying napalm, which they placed directly on the attacking formation. After this devastating bomb-run the left-over napalm canisters were tossed onto the mortar batteries in Bau Bang.
The nine-o’clock assault failed as decisively as had the earlier ones. The mortars in Bau Bang were silenced, as were the heavy weapons on the berm. Desultory enemy rifle fire continued for an hour or so, probably designed to cover his withdrawal. By noon all was quiet.
The tenacity, courage, dedication, and teamwork shown by the artillerymen in this particular battle were remarkable, even for soldiers who are trained, indeed indoctrinated, to believe that service of the howitzer comes above all other considerations. The cannoneers of C Battery stood and sweated out there in that peanut field by Bau Bang and fired 300 rounds of high explosive during the morning. It is likely that without them the enemy assault over the berm would have carried to the center of the perimeter.
The mortar men of Company A also did yeoman duty. They fired 225 high explosive 81mm shells in close-in defensive fires during the battle. That works out to 76 rounds per tube, a prodigious effort!
During the after mop up, B and C companies sweep the battle area to include around Bau Bang. They counted 198 Viet Cong dead around the perimeter and in the village. Because of the Viet Cong practice of recovering all dead and wounded soldiers possible, the enemy’s losses must have been substantially greater. He also lost numerous rifles, machine guns, light and medium mortars, light and heavy recoilless rifles, a radio, and a flame thrower.
The Americans lost 20 Soldiers killed in action, 103 wounded in Action (every third man had been wounded or killed). Five armored vehicles were destroyed (all three mortar carriers); three more were damaged badly enough to be withdrawn from service for repairs. The Vietnamese interpreter with the battalion, who had helped the hospital team in Bau Bang was also dead, and Bau Bang itself was completely destroyed, a lifeless ruin. It’s villagers had crawled out of their holes and bunkers and disappeared before the smoke, dust and confusion of the battle.


RON DAVIDSON'S WEBSITE

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FIDDLER'S GREEN

ROB FERGUSON - TET 68

Rob's Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, November 5th, 2011 at 10:00 am at the Doolittle Funeral Home in Middletown, CT followed by the burial of his cremains at the Veteran's Cemetery in Middletown.
(We miss him too:)
Aloha,
Dawn Ferguson

MORE.
Robert Bruce FERGUSON |

The family and friends of Robert Bruce Ferguson of Windsor, are sad to announce his passing on October 20, 2011, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed and well-remembered by all who knew him. Robert (Rob) was born in Evergreen Park, a suburb of Chicago, IL, March 21, 1947, to Robert L. and Hilda (Mattice) Ferguson. The family moved from Illinois via Maryland and Pennsylvania to West Hartford, CT, where Rob graduated from Conard High School. He attended Temple University and the University of Maryland before enlisting in the US Army in 1967. Rob proudly served his country in the US Army from September, 1967 through September, 1970. He served in the Alpha Troop of the 1st Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division in the Republic of Vietnam from February, 1968 through February, 1969 and became the Commander of the Troop's Medical Armored Personnel Carrier during intensive combat operations. Among his awards are the Bronze Star Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Also, his entire Troop was awarded the Valorous Unit Award which is the second highest unit decoration that may be bestowed upon a U.S Army unit and is considered the unit equivalent of the Silver Star. It is awarded to units of the United States Army which display extraordinary heroism in combat. After Sergeant Ferguson received an Honorable Discharge from military service, he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland. Rob served as Accountant with Hartford Office Supply for more than two decades. He was an avid skier and a PSIA Certified Level II Ski Instructor and Master Teacher at Otis Ridge in Otis, MA for over 20 years. He particularly enjoyed working with the children in their after-school ski programs. Rob is survived by his parents of Potomac, MD; his son, Robert Sean Ferguson of Houston, TX, his daughter, Laura Beth Ferguson, of Ransom, WV; and his two sisters, Cheryl Ferguson of Gaithersburg, MD and Dawn Ferguson of Kula, HI. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 5th at 10 a.m. at Doolittle's Funeral Home, 14 Old Church St, Middletown, CT 06457. Interment, with full military honors, will follow at the State Veteran's Cemetery, 317 Bow Lane, Middletown, CT 06457. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Robert Bruce Ferguson Memorial Fund will be accepted at Legacy Bank, P.O. Box 103, Otis, MA 01253. Donations will support the Otis Ridge After-School Ski Program for youth. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.doolittlefuneralservice.com

Air Force Major Thomas E. Reitmann

of Red Wing, Minn., will be buried on Sept. 8 in Arlington National Cemetery.� In 1965, Reitmann was assigned to the 334th Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed out of Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., to Takhli Air Base, Thailand. On Dec 1, 1965, he was flying a strike mission as the number three aircraft in a flight of four F-105D Thunderchiefs as part of Operation Rolling Thunder. His target was a railroad bridge located about 45 nautical miles northeast of Hanoi. As the aircrew approached the target area, they encountered extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft artillery (AAA). While attempting to acquire his target and release his ordnance, Reitmann received a direct AAA hit and crashed in Lang Son Province, North Vietnam. Other pilots in the flight observed no parachute, and no signals or emergency beepers were heard. Due to the intense enemy fire in the area a search-and- rescue team was not able to survey the site and a two-day electronic search found no sign of the aircraft or Reitmann.
In 1988, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) repatriated remains to the United States believed to be those of Reitmann. The remains were later identified as those of another American pilot who went missing in the area on the same day as Reitmann.
Between 1991 and 2009, joint U.S.-S.R.V. teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), analyzed numerous leads, interviewed villagers, and attempted to locate the aircraft. Although no evidence of the crash site was found, in 2009 and 2011 a local farmer turned over remains and a metal button he claimed to have found in his corn field.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA - which matched that of his brother -- in the identification of Reitmann's remains.

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Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Robert R. Bishop of Joliet, Ill.
2nd Lt. Thomas Digman, Jr. of Pittsburgh;
2nd Lt. Donald W. Hess of Sioux City, Iowa;
2nd Lt. Arthur W. Luce, of Fort Bragg, Calif.;
Staff Sgt. Joseph J. Karaso, of Philadelphia;
Staff Sgt. Ralph L. McDonald of East Point, Ga.;
Sgt. John P. Bonnassiolle of Oakland, Calif.;
Sgt. James T. Blong of Port Washington, Wis.;
Sgt. Michael A. Chiodo of Cleveland;
Sgt. John J. Harringer, Jr. of South Bend, Ind.


will be buried as a group, in a single casket representing the entire crew, on Oct. 26, in Arlington National Cemetery. Hess and Karaso will be interred individually in Arlington National Cemetery.
On April 29, 1944, the 10 airmen were ordered to carry out a bombing mission over Berlin, Germany, in their B-24J Liberator aircraft, piloted by Bishop and Luce. German documents captured after the war noted that the aircraft crashed near the town of East Meitze, Germany, and there were no survivors. German forces buried the remains of Digman, Blong, and one unknown airman in a cemetery near Hannover, Germany, around the time of the crash. In 1946, the Army Graves Registration Service exhumed the remains of the three individuals for identification and reburied them in a U.S. Military Cemetery in Condroz, Belgium.
In 2003, a German national located the site of the crash and recovered human remains, which were turned over to U.S. officials. In 2005, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) team excavated the crash site and gathered additional human remains, military equipment, and metal identification tags for Bishop, Blong, Bonnassiolle, and Harringer. The team also recovered a class ring with the initials AWL -- presumably belonging to Luce. In 2007, a JPAC team completed the site excavation and found additional evidence that helped to confirm the identity of the crew. Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used dental analysis and mitochondrial DNA -- which matched that of some of the crewmembers' families -- in the identification of their remains.
At the end of the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover and identify approximately 79,000 Americans. Today, more than 73,000 remain unaccounted-for from the conflict.

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Missing Vietnam War Soldiers Identified

The remains of three servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Master Sgt. Charles V. Newton of Canadian, Texas
Sgt. 1st Class Douglas E. Dahill of Lima, Ohio
Sgt. 1st Class Charles F. Prevedel of St. Louis, Mo.

all U.S. Army, will be buried as a group on Oct. 5 at Arlington National Cemetery. Newton was also individually identified and will be interred individually at Arlington on the same day as the group interment. On April 17, 1969, the men and three Vietnamese soldiers were on a long-range reconnaissance patrol operating in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, near the border of Laos. That afternoon the patrol was ambushed by enemy forces and radioed for air support but thunderstorms in the area prevented rescue attempts. Search and rescue teams reached the site the next day but over the next week found no signs of the men.
Between 1990 and 1993,joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), interviewed witnesses, investigated leads and excavated the site associated with the ambush. The teams recovered human remains, personal effects and military equipment. In 2003, some of the recovered remains were identified as those of Prevedel. In 2006 and 2007, joint U.S./S.R.V. teams returned to the site and recovered additional remains and military equipment. Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.

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Army Cpl. Edward M. Pedregon of El Paso, Texas

will be buried on Oct. 6 in Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial service was held in San Elizario, Texas, on Oct. 1. In late November 1950 Pedregon and the Heavy Mortar Company, of the 31st Regimental Combat Team known as Task Force Faith were overrun by Chinese forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. After several days of heavy attacks, Task Force Faith was forced to withdraw, but was stopped by enemy blockades that overpowered them on Dec. 2, 1950. Pedregon was reported missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950.
In 1953, following the exchange of all prisoners of war by both sides of the conflict, no further information was gained to indicate that Pedregon had been held as a prisoner of war, and he was declared dead.
In 2004, a joint U.S./Korean People's Army team excavated several sites in the Chosin Reservoir area and recovered the remains of at least nine individuals and military equipment. The location of the remains corresponds to the positions temporarily held by elements of Task Force Faith in late November 1950.
Among forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used dental records, and mitochondrial DNA which matched that of Pedregon's mother and brotherin the identification of the remains.


ACTIVE DUTY NEWS

2012 COLA Increase
It’s official, military and federal civilian retirees, survivor benefit annuitants, disabled veterans and Social Security recipients will see a 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment in January, their first since 2009.
The 3.6% COLA will be effective Dec 1 and will be reflected in January retired pay, SBP, Social Security, and VA disability compensation checks.
COLA is calculated by comparing the average inflation (as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI)) from 3rd quarter 2011 (223.2) to the baseline of 3rd quarter 2008 (215.5). The 2008 baseline must be used because the baselines for 2009 and 2010 were below that figure, and the law doesn’t allow a negative COLA.
For the month of September, the CPI figure is 223.688 -- a 0.2 percent increase from August.
For the Jul-Sep 2011 baseline period, the average CPI was 223.2. That is 3.59% above the 2008 baseline of 215.5, which rounds to 3.6% under the COLA law.

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Story by: 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs Office After 29 years of service to the nation, including the last five at Fort Riley with the 1st Infantry Division, the senior enlisted Soldier of the "Big Red One" is set to hang up his uniform for the last time.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Champagne, senior noncommissioned officer, 1st Inf. Div., was honored during a retirement ceremony outside the division's headquarters Aug. 25.
Champagne came to Fort Riley in 2006 as the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div.'s command sergeant major. He deployed with the "Dragon" Brigade to southern Baghdad in 2007 as part of the American "surge" into the Iraqi capital.
Upon redeployment, he took his current post as the division's top NCO. He then deployed to southern Iraq with the 1st Inf. Div. headquarters in 2010.
As the division's senior NCO, Champagne is responsible for the performance, training, appearance and conduct of the unit's enlisted Soldiers, as well as advising the commanding general and his staff on all enlisted matters.

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Chairman's Corner: The Military Retirement System
By Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2011 - In my first blog entry, I discussed the four themes that are important to me as I start my tenure as the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Among them I mention keeping faith with our Military Family. I was recently reminded of the importance of this when I testified before the House Armed Services Committee with Secretary of Defense Panetta last week.
During that testimony I was asked by several Representatives to comment on the recent recommendations of the Defense Business Board regarding changing the military retirement system to something more like what is available to civilians in the commercial sector.
What I told them and what I want to reiterate here is that I reject the comparison of military to civilian retirement and that I am adamantly opposed to changing the retirement benefits for those who are currently on active duty. We will undoubtedly have to change our retirement system in the future to make it affordable, but we have made a commitment to those currently serving, and I aim to keep it.

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DOD Announces New Defense Policy Board Members
Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta today announced the following new members to the Defense Policy Board: Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state; Jamie Gorelick, former deputy attorney general; Jane Harman, former U.S. congresswoman; Retired Gen. James Cartwright, former vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Retired Adm. Gary Roughead, former chief of naval operations.
These members join the following returning members: John Hamre, chairman; Harold Brown; J.D. Crouch; Richard Danzig; Rudy deLeon, Chuck Hagel; Retired Gen. Jack Keane; Henry Kissinger; Frank Miller; John Nagl; Sam Nunn; Joseph Nye; William Perry; James Schlesinger; Brent Scowcroft; Sarah Sewall; and Retired Gen. Larry Welch.
The Defense Policy Board provides the secretary, deputy secretary and under secretary for policy with independent, informed advice and opinion concerning matters of defense policy.

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Military Post Offices in Iraq to Close Nov. 17
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2011 - Because U.S. forces are coming home from Iraq by the end of the year, the U.S. Postal Service will stop accepting mail addressed to military post offices in Iraq starting Nov. 17, Defense Department officials said today.
Military post offices in Iraq also will stop processing mail Nov. 17, and service members there should begin now to advise those who send them mail about the Nov. 17 deadline.
Mail still in the postal system through Nov. 17 will be processed and delivered to service members in Iraq, officials said.
In November, U.S. military postal service responsibilities in Iraq will transition to State Department embassy or consulate post offices for service members assigned to Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq.
These sites will provide letter and parcel mail services to service members assigned to the Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq.
The transition will be closely coordinated with the U.S. Postal Service Agency, which will delete ZIP codes for Iraq military post offices from the USPS database to prevent undeliverable mail from entering the postal system after Nov. 17, according to defense officials.
If APO mail arrives in Iraq after a service member departs, mail will be redirected to the new mailing address provided or, if no mailing address was provided, returned to sender.
Any mail mistakenly accepted by a USPS post office after Nov. 17 will be returned to sender once it reaches the International Gateway in New Jersey.
U.S. service members in Iraq who do not receive an absentee ballot by Nov. 17 should contact their U.S. Local Election Office to change their address. Unit voting assistance officers can provide state-specific voting details.
Service members who are remaining in Iraq after Nov. 17 and who are there on behalf of or are assigned to the Office of Security Cooperation or the Chief of Mission in Iraq should coordinate with their chain of command and the servicing State Department mail location to receive a new mailing address.
According to defense officials, conditions and situations in the Iraq transition change often. Officials recommend that service members check the Military Postal Service Agency website and USPS Postal Bulletins frequently for updates.

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Obama Proposes TRICARE Changes
By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2011 - Military retirees would pay an annual fee for TRICARE-for-Life health insurance and TRICARE pharmacy co-payments would be restructured under the deficit reduction plan President Barack Obama released today.
"If we're going to meet our responsibilities, we have to do it together," Obama said during a Rose Garden speech to announce the President's Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction. The plan reduces $4.4 trillion from the $14.7 trillion federal deficit over 10 years through a combination of spending cuts and increased tax revenue.
For the military portion, Obama said the government will save $1.1 trillion from the drawdown of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are to be complete at the end of this year and in 2014, respectively.
The plan includes savings of $6.7 billion over 10 years by establishing "modest annual fees" for members of TRICARE-for-Life, which becomes a second-payer insurance to military retirees who transition to the federal Medicare program upon turning age 65. The change would begin with a $200 annual fee in fiscal 2013.
The plan also includes savings of $15.1 billion in mandatory funds and $5.5 billion in discretionary funds over 10 years by restructuring co-payments for TRICARE pharmacy benefits.
To bring the TRICARE plan more in line with private and other federal plans, the president's proposed plan would eliminate co-pays for generic mail-order drugs, while shifting retail co-pays from a dollar amount to a percentage co-pay. The change would apply to military families and retirees, but not active duty service members.
These changes will ensure fiscal responsibility without compromising quality care for service members and their families, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement released today.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta "has consistently emphasized the need to keep faith with our troops and their families," Little said.
"That includes maintaining the highest quality health care for them," he continued. "We will continue to maintain the highest possible health care, but during this period of fiscal belt tightening, we may see modest cost increases in TRICARE enrollment fees and co-pays to sustain the health system."
The changes are necessary to help reduce the deficit and ensure the long-term strengths of the programs, a White House news release issued after Obama's speech said. The changes also would help to level "a measurable disparity" between military retirees and private sector workers, it says.
The statement notes that the administration has expanded GI Bill benefits, job training and veterans' homeless prevention programs, and proposed tax credits for employers to hire veterans.
"Still, as the cost of health care rises and benefit programs across the public and private sectors are being restructured to remain solvent," the release says, "it's important that programs that serve military retirees and veterans are modernized to be able to meet the needs of the future."
The plan also would create a commission to "modernize" military benefits through a process based on that of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission, the White House release said. Under the proposal, the Defense Department would make a proposal to the commission, which can alter the proposal before sending it to the president. The president may not alter the proposals, but would decide whether or not to send it to Congress. The Congress would have to approve or disapprove without modifications.
"The administration believes that any major military retirement reforms should include grandfathering provisions that ensure that the country does not break faith with military personnel now serving," the statement said.
Obama said the proposal to save $4 trillion "finishes what we started last summer" when he and the Congress agreed to $1 trillion in cost savings. Under the plan, the deficit -- the difference between revenue and spending -- would level out in 2017 where spending is no longer adding to the nation's debt.
While "we are scouring budget for every dime of waste and inefficiency," Obama said, the proposed plan also closes corporate tax loopholes, raises taxes on millionaires and makes changes to Medicaid and Medicare in an effort to help small businesses and middle class Americans, and protects spending on education, science and infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
"We're asking everybody to do their part so no one has to shoulder too much burden," Obama said.

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Obama Sends U.S. Forces to Help in Central Africa
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2011 - President Barack Obama has authorized the deployment to central Africa of 100 combat-equipped U.S. forces whose mission is to help regional forces fight the notorious Lord's Resistance Army and its leader, Joseph Kony.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Daniel Inouye, president pro tempore of the Senate, Obama notified Congress of his actions, as required by the War Powers Resolution of 1973, a federal law intended to limit the president's power to commit the United States to armed conflict without congressional consent.
On Oct. 12, the president wrote, the initial team of U.S. combat-equipped military personnel deployed to Uganda. A total of 100 service members and civilians will deploy to the region over the next month, including a second combat-equipped team and headquarters, communications and logistics personnel.
Obama said the forces will provide information, advice and assistance to select partner nation forces and act as advisers to partner forces that seek to remove Kony and other senior LRA leadership from the battlefield.
U.S. forces will not engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense, the president said, and "all appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of U.S. military personnel during their deployment."
"For more than two decades," Obama wrote, "the Lord's Resistance Army has murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa."
The army continues to commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, he added, and these actions have "a disproportionate impact on regional security."
"Since 2008," the president wrote, "the United States has supported regional military efforts to pursue the LRA and protect local communities. Even with limited U.S. assistance, regional military efforts have been unable to remove Kony or his top commanders from the battlefield, Obama said. In the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009, enacted in May 2010, the president wrote, Congress expressed support for increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA to civilians and regional stability. "Subject to the approval of each respective host nation," the president wrote, "elements of these U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo." The support provided by U.S. forces, he added, will enhance regional efforts against the LRA. "I believe that deploying these U.S. armed forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy," Obama wrote, "and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa."
During an Oct. 4 military strategy forum, Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, commented on the LRA. "If you ever had any question if there's evil in the world, it's resident in the person of Joesph Kony and that organization," Ham said. The U.S. military, Ham said, has focused on facilitating intelligence, and in a State Department-led effort, U.S. personnel trained a battalion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's armed forces. Ham said the U.S. government was looking to increase support to the counter-LRA efforts by increasing the number of military advisors and trainers and training another battalion. A senior Defense Department official said today that since 2008, the United States has provided $33 million in support to the Ugandan military's counter-LRA efforts and is providing logistical support, nonlethal equipment, training and intelligence assistance to other militaries working to counter the LRA. For example, the official said, the United States is working to provide some equipment to the Central African Republic's armed forces and coordinating with them to help in capitalizing on their counter-LRA efforts in the eastern part of that country.
The U.S.-trained Democratic Republic of Congo battalion now is deployed to Dungu in northeastern Congo, an area that has been affected by LRA operations,�the official said, adding that Africom also is exploring ways to support South Sudan's military. The 100 U.S. personnel whose deployment the president announced today are going to regional capitals and other areas to work with governments, their militaries, and the peacekeeping missions in order for these forces to counter the LRA threat and protect civilians, the official said. This includes both military and nonmilitary personnel, he added, stressing that these U.S. troops will be working to advise and assist regional efforts, not acting independently. The advisors will travel to field locations in the areas affected by the LRA where they can interact with and advise those forces that are actively pursuing the LRA, the official said, repeating that they will not be engaging in direct combat against the LRA.
The U.S. forces supporting this operation are primarily special operations forces who will work to build the capacity of the units they are working with, the Pentagon official said. "They bring the experience and technical capability to train, advise and assist partner security forces in support of programs designed to support internal security,"he said. "Our intention is to provide the right balance of strategic and tactical experience to supplement host nation military efforts. "Ultimately," he continued, "Africans are responsible for African security, but we remain committed to our partners to enable their efforts to provide for their own security."

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Obama: All U.S. Troops Out of Iraq by Year's End
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2011 - All U.S. service members will leave Iraq by the end of the year, President Barack Obama announced today. About 40,000 U.S. service members are in the country, and all will be "home for the holidays," Obama said. The president made the announcement after speaking with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki this morning. Since American forces went into Iraq in March 2003, more than 1 million Americans have deployed to the Middle Eastern country many multiple times. More than 32,200 U.S. service members and civilians have been wounded in the country, and 4,482 were killed. "Today, I can report that as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over," the president said. "The last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops," the president said. "That is how America's military efforts in Iraq will end."
The United States will maintain a close alliance with Iraq, the president said, and the withdrawal means the relationship between the countries will be just like that between the United States with any other country. Obama said it will be "an equal partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect." Obama said he and Maliki agreed that a meeting of the Higher Coordinating Committee of the Strategic Framework Agreement will convene in the coming weeks, and that he invited the Iraqi leader to Washington to plan the future relationship. "This will be a strong and enduring partnership, with our diplomats and civilian advisers in the lead; will help Iraqis strengthen institutions that are just, representative and accountable; will build new ties of trade and of commerce, culture and education, that unleash the potential of the Iraqi people; will partner with an Iraq that contributes to regional security and peace, just as we insist that other nations respect Iraq's sovereignty," Obama said.
The United States will offer to help Iraq train and equip its forces, just as the United States offers assistance to countries around the world. "There will be some difficult days ahead for Iraq, and the United States will continue to have an interest in an Iraq that is stable, secure and self-reliant," the president said. "Just as Iraqis have persevered through war, I'm confident that they can build a future worthy of their history as the cradle of civilization."
The end of war in Iraq reflects a larger transition in world affairs, Obama said. "The tide of war is receding," he said. "The drawdown in Iraq allowed us to refocus our fight against al-Qaida and achieve major victories against its leadership, including Osama bin Laden."
The United States also is reducing the number of troops deployed to Afghanistan. He noted that when he took office in January 2009, more than 180,000 U.S. service members were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. "By the end of this year, that number will be cut in half. And make no mistake: It will continue to go down," the president said. The president said the United States is moving forward from a position of strength. The war in Iraq will end in December. The number of Americans in Afghanistan will continue to go down. As these actions continue, there will be fewer deployments and more time for training, Obama said. The nation still has the responsibility and duty to provide America's newest veterans and their families "the care, the benefits and the opportunities that they have earned," the president said. "This includes enlisting our veterans in the greatest challenge that we now face as a nation creating opportunity and jobs in this country," he added. "After a decade of war, the nation that we need to build and the nation that we will build is our own, an America that sees its economic strength restored, just as we've restored our leadership around the globe."
Preparations to withdraw continue. The United States closed its U.S. Division North at Camp Speicher yesterday. Only one divisional level U.S. unit now remains in the country.

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Officials Stress Keeping Faith on Military Retirement
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2011 - The Defense Department has no proposals or recommendations on revamping military retirement at this time, but any future proposal must not break faith with those in the military today, senior Pentagon officials told Congress yesterday. Jo Ann Rooney, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Vee Penrod, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military personnel policy, testified on military retirement before the House Armed Services Committee's military personnel subcommittee.
The Defense Business Board has proposed making a military retirement system more like private-sector systems. The military system has remained fairly constant over time, Rooney said, while the private sector has changed its retirement systems to cater to the increasingly mobile workforce. "Unlike [the private] sector, the military services must grow most of their military workforce internally," she said. "It generally takes 15 to 20 years to develop the next generation of infantry battalion commanders and submarine captains. As a result, the military must ensure compensation, promotions and personnel policies that all foster the retention and longer careers necessary to create these experienced leaders. "The military, she said, needs greater longevity and continuity to develop leaders, and a retirement system mirroring a private-sector approach -- with contributions from individuals and transportable benefits -- may not be the best way for the uniformed services to go. This does not mean that the current system is sacrosanct, Rooney said. The department should examine the retirement system in the context of a total military compensation system, she added. DOD officials, she told the panel, are examining all aspects of the retirement system for all components. Rooney said the review has been deliberate, careful and pragmatic, and that officials are reviewing proposals and modeling them to determine the impact on recruiting and retention. The Defense Department, she said, is working to strike the correct balance. "This includes weighing the impact of a new system on recruiting and retention, considering the welfare of the individual service members and families -- which includes grandfathering our existing force who took their oath under the current system -- and acknowledging our responsibility to the American taxpayer," she said.
The current military retirement system has supported the most-successful volunteer force in the world, Penrod noted. "The question now," Penrod added, "is whether the current system is still relevant in today's environment. If not, should it be modified in a manner more in line with the private sector? "Officials are not looking at retirement in isolation, Penrod pointed out, but rather at how personnel and pay policies affect decisions to join the military and then to stay.

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Vets Deserve Opportunity, Mullen Tells Miami Audience
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

CORAL GABLES, Fla., Sept. 13, 2011 - Navy Adm. Mike Mullen has billed his frequent speaking engagements around the nation as a "Conversation With the Country," and that proved especially fitting as three members of the military community spoke here today. Marine Corps wife Karen Aguirre, Army reservist Harry Zayas and wounded warrior Jason Recio shared their military experiences with about 500 leaders, students and community members here at the University of Miami. The three were part of a panel discussion that preceded those of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "There is nothing a veteran can't do," Recio, a police officer with the municipal police department here, said. "And there's nothing a veteran can't do better." Recio was deemed 100 percent disabled from injuries he received in Iraq: his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, and he was shot twice. He was medevaced to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, and spent three years recovering. Recio wanted to be a police officer, but couldn't find a department in southern Florida that would take a chance on him, based on his injuries. He battled back, and finally the Coral Gables department gave him a chance. "That's all I wanted," Recio said, "a chance."
The American people need to hear these stories, the chairman said. While they respect and honor service members, they don't really understand the sacrifices men and women in uniform and their families have made and the stressors they face as the nation fights two wars. Harry Zayas, an explosive ordnance expert, has deployed to Iraq. He will deploy again soon with his unit, this time to Afghanistan. Mullen noted the multiple deployments, the actions that many have been involved in overseas, and the stresses of readjusting to the United States. Military families, too, are under stress. "They sit and wait, every single night" to find out if that is the day they receive news that a loved one is wounded or has made the ultimate sacrifice, he said.
The United States is entering its 11th year of war, the chairman said. The all-volunteer force has deployed for a year, been home for a year, then deployed again. The Army and Marines have borne the brunt, but sailors, airmen and Coast Guardsmen, too, have been stressed, he said. And their children also have been affected. A 5-year-old in 2001 with a mom or dad in one of these high-deploying units has spent an entire conscious life with a parent at war, Mullen said. "We've never had this before," he said.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. The Army is moving to nine-month deployments beginning next year, and soldiers will have 18 months at home. The other services are moving in that direction also. But warfare has changed, Mullen said, and service members will continue to deploy even after U.S. troops depart Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
Americans need to understand what service members and their families are going through, because "these young men and women have generated a debt we cannot repay," Mullen said. The military has 2.2 million people on active duty or in the National Guard or reserve components. All have volunteered, all make sacrifices, and all have made a difference. "We've been able to execute the missions in these two very difficult wars because of the support of these people and the support of the American people," Mullen said. By their service, soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have earned the respect and honor. When they get out of the military they have learned leadership and discipline, are technically qualified, and know how to put together teams to reach mutual goals, Mullen said. "If I heard one message from the panel, it was, 'Just give me a chance, "he said. "Give me an opportunity. That's all."
If America invests in the generation serving today -- a generation he says "is hard-wired to serve" -- it will make a difference for 60 years, the chairman said.

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A few General Officer appointments for your enjoyment! BB.

Army Maj. Gen. Raymond V. Mason, who has been selected to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as deputy chief of staff, G-4, U. S. Army, Washington, D.C. Mason is currently serving as the assistant deputy chief of staff, G-4, U. S. Army, Washington, D.C.
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Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta announced today that the President has nominated Army Maj. Gen. Terry A. Wolff for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as director, strategic plans and policy, J-5, Joint Staff; and senior member, U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Military Staff Committee, Washington, D.C. Wolff most recently served as deputy commanding general/chief of staff, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany.
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Army Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., for reappointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Mulholland is currently serving as the commanding general, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.
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Army Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, for appointment to the rank of major general. Thomas is currently serving as deputy commander, Joint Special Operations Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.
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Army Col. John L. Poppe, for appointment to the rank of brigadier general and for assignment as chief of the Veterinary Corps of the Army. Poppe is currently serving as chief, Department of Veterinary Science, Academy of Health Sciences, Army Medical Department Center and School, San Antonio, Texas.
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Army Maj. Gen. Peter M. Vangjel for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as the inspector general, Office of the Secretary of the Army, Washington, D.C. Vangjel most recently served as deputy commanding general, Third Army/U.S. Army Central, Kuwait.
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Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Gill P. Beck for appointment to the rank of major general and for assignment as commanding general, 81st Regional Support Command, Fort Jackson S.C. Beck is currently serving as commander, U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command, Gaithersburg, Md.
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Army Col. Kristin K. French for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. French is currently serving as commander, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Fort Knox, Ky.
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Army Col. Walter E. Piatt for appointment to the rank of brigadier general. Piatt is currently serving as commandant, U.S. Army Infantry School, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Ga.
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Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, for reappointment to the rank of general and assignment as vice chief of staff, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C. He is currently serving as commander, U.S. Forces-Iraq, Operation New Dawn, Iraq.
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Army Maj. Gen. Mary A. Legere, for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as deputy chief of staff, G-2, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C. She is currently serving as commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Belvoir, Va.
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Army Maj. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as deputy chief of staff, G-1, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C. He most recently served as commanding general, 2d Infantry Division, Eighth U.S. Army.
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Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Janet L. Cobb, for promotion to the rank of major general and assignment as assistant deputy chief of staff, G-4, mobilization and training (individual mobilization augmentee), Washington, D.C. She is currently serving as commander, U.S. Army Reserve Deployment Support Command, Birmingham, Ala.


TROOPERS CORNER - SOUND OFF!!

I'd be willing to bet that we will see them again.BB

NATO: At Least 10,000 ‘Lost Missiles’ in Libya
Missiles a Threat to Civil Aviation
by Jason Ditz, October 02, 2011
In a secret meeting with German MPs, top NATO officials reportedly confirmed that over 10,000 missiles inside Libya are still completely unaccounted for, with Admiral Giampaolo di Paola saying that the missiles pose a “serious threat to civil aviation.”
That’s because among those missiles they still haven’t found are over 5,000 SAM-7 shoulder-fired suface to air missiles, which could be easily used by any terrorist to shoot down aircraft.
Admiral Di Paola was said to have warned that the missiles could show up anywhere from Kenya to Kunduz (Afghanistan) while a Libyan general expressed concern that the arms had “fallen into the wrong hands.”
Fear about the Libyan missiles has been growing since the fall of Tripoli, as the Gadhafi regime’s forces left the weapons dumps unguarded, and the NATO-backed rebels did nothing to secure them. Instead, the weapons were looted en masse, with many already smuggled abroad.

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I for one hope we don't ever hear of this happening again. BB.

McHugh Cites Major Improvements at Arlington National Cemetery
Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh today released publicly a "Report to Congress," updating improvements made at Arlington National Cemetery more than a year after he ousted the cemetery's leadership and made sweeping changes in its structure and oversight.
"In just over a year, the cemetery's new management team has made major progress in reconciling decades' worth of paper records with physical graveside inspections to regain accountability," McHugh wrote in a letter to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. "They have put in place new policies and procedures to protect against and prevent the type of errors uncovered in the Army's previous investigations. Equipment and training have been modernized, contracting procedures revamped, a historic partnership created with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the workforce improved and reinvigorated, and ongoing outreach and information has been provided to family members and the American public."
McHugh provided the report to Congressional oversight committees in response to legislation seeking the status of a directive he signed that made sweeping reforms at Arlington National Cemetery. In compiling the report, McHugh directed the Army's inspector general to again inspect the facility to determine compliance. An earlier inspector general report, also ordered by McHugh, found failures in management and oversight that contributed to the loss of accountability, lack of proper automation, ineffective contract compliance, and a dysfunctional workforce.
"Perhaps most important, the inspector general found the mismanagement that existed prior to these changes, 'no longer exists,'" he said. "And that 'significant progress has been made in all aspects of the cemetery's performance, accountability and modernization.' We're confident that the Army is on the right path toward repairing the cemetery's failures and restoring the confidence of Congress and the American people."
McHugh noted that even while making massive improvements in the cemetery's management and oversight, the pace of 27 to 30 funeral services per day -- many with full military honors -- has not abated.
"Since 1864, the United States Army has been steward of this, the country's only active military shrine," McHugh said. "I believe this report will demonstrate the Army's steadfast commitment to repairing what was broken in the past, and ensuring America's continued confidence in the operation of its most hallowed ground."
NOTE: The secretary's "Report to Congress" and the Department of the Army inspector general's report on inspection of Arlington National Cemetery are available at: http://www.army.mil/arlington.

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Thanks to Col Whitley for sharing his thoughts with us. BB

A few might recall, our medic, Jerry D. Charlton, was killed by a large mine on or about 7 September, 1967. Another soldier and I were wounded in that explosion. Jerry told me was a conscientous objector but that he could not walk away from his country, so he elected to serve as an unarmed medic. He spent his non duty time reading the bible. He was from Arkansas, and in later years every time I saw Bill Clinton, also from Arkansas, I would remember a man of conscience and courage, Jerry, and then think of Clinton who did not serve and who went abroad to study and wrote that he loathed the military. Jerry died and Clinton lived. The little Arkansas town of Marvell, Arkansas, had a VFW post named after Jerry, but the town about dried up over the years, and the VFW hall was torn down. Now, Jerry's name is on the wall in Washington, and I can find no memory of him in Marvell. His memory must be with those of us who served, as should such memories be for the 55,000 others on that wall...for over time none of us who served will be remembered but for the wall and and a dwindling number of friends and family. Jerry had no chance to have a full life. The country we purportedly went to defend fell into the hands of our enemy. We ought to remember Jerry and Vietnam whenever we hear the fools cry out for another absolutely necessary war.
Kenny W. Whitley, COL, USA, Retired

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I hope everyone of you read this if you read nothing else. Everything on here is absolutely true. Thanks to Ron Brauer for sending this one in. BB

E-Mail Tracker Programs -- very interesting and a must read!

By now, I suspect everyone is familiar with snopes.com and/or truthorfiction.com for determining whether information received via email is just that: true/false or fact/fiction. Both are excellent sites.

Advice from snopes.com VERY IMPORTANT!!
1) Any time you see an email that says "forward this on to '10' (or however many) of your friends", "sign this petition", or "you'll get bad luck" or "you'll get good luck" or "you'll see something funny on your screen after you send it" or whatever --- it almost always has an email tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and e-mails of those folks you forward to. The host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' email addresses to use in SPAM emails or sell to other Spammers. Even when you get emails that demand you send the email on if you're not ashamed of God/Jesus --- that is email tracking, and they are playing on our conscience. These people don't care how they get your email addresses - just as long as they get them. Also, emails that talk about a missing child or a child with an incurable disease "how would you feel if that was your child" --- email tracking. Ignore them and don't participate!

2) Almost all emails that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and all any of this type of email is, is a way to get names and 'cookie' tracking information for telemarketers andSpammers -- to validate active email accounts for their own profitable purposes. You can do your Friends and Family members a GREAT favor by sending this information to them. You will be providing a service to your friends. And you will be rewarded by not getting thousands of spam emails in the future!

Do yourself a favor and STOP adding your name(s) to those types of listing regardless how inviting they might sound! Or make you feel guilty if you don't! It's all about getting email addresses and nothing more. You may think you are supporting a GREAT cause, but you are NOT! Instead, you will be getting tons of junk mail later and very possibly a virus attached! Plus, we are helping theSpammers get rich! Let's not make it easy for them!

ALSO: Email petitions are NOT acceptable to government or any other organization - e.g. Social security, etc. To be acceptable, petitions must have a "signed signature" and full address of the person signing the petition, so this is a waste of time and you are just helping the email trackers.

And another important point is to delete all previous names from your emails before forwarding!!! Send emails to your entire address list BCC then everyone after you doesn't get your friend's email address.

Tips for Handling Telemarketers
Three Little Words That Work!!
(1)The three little words are: 'Hold On, Please...' Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt. Then when you eventually hear the phone company's 'beep-beep-beep' tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task. These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting..

(2) Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?
This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a 'real' sales person to call back and get someone at home. What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialled the call, and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any l onger!!!

(3) Junk Mail Help:
When you get ads enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these ads with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away. When you get those 'pre-approved' letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope. Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular postage, 'IF' and when they receive them back. It costs them nothing if you throw them away! The postage was around 50 cents before the last increase and it is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes. One of Andy Rooney 's (60 minutes) ideas.
Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back! If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them 60 cents. The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it...Twice! Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea! If enough people follow these tips, it will work I have been doing this for years, and I get very little junk mail anymore.

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Thanks to Ron Brauer for this heads up! .BB

I think you'll be able to see if there is something in them, but it is a true story. We actually use to make these when I was a kid (yes I really was at one time, long ago) and put them in glass jars and throw them. Now the glass exploding could really hurt you, but I don't know about the plastic..
This sounds like a hoax, but it isn't!
Don't Pick Up Water Bottles. Please Read!!! Be careful!!!!
Yes, I would pick up a bottle in my front yard or in the mailbox. Wouldn't you? But not anymore, thanks to this email I received. Pass this on to everybody you know. Anybody that sees a plastic bottle in their yard would think nothing of picking it up to throw it away. If you have kids or grandkids, take the time to talk to them about this. It looks like these things are starting to pop up around the U.S. Check the Snopes web site below, it's pretty scary.
Important warning! NOT A JOKE! Pay attention to this.

1. A plastic bottle with a cap (like a normal water bottle).
2. A little Drano.
3. A little water.
4. A small piece of foil.
5. Disturb it by moving it; and BOOM (less than 30 seconds)!!
6. No fingers left and other serious effects to your face, eyes, etc.
People are finding these bombs in mailboxes and in their yards, just
waiting for someone to pick them up intending to put it in the trash.

It takes about 30 seconds to blow after you move the thing.

Check this out on Snopes. It is true.
Click here to read Snopes Article


WARNING!! TROOPERS JOKES - Some of these may not be pleasant for the young or weak of heart.

Thanks to Wayne Paddack for clearing this all up for us.BB

It's like the Book of Genesis -- A Creation Story

On the first day, God created the dog and said: 'Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.'

The dog said: 'That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?'

So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey and said: 'Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span.'

The monkey said: 'Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?'

And God agreed.

On the third day, God created the cow and said: 'You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.'

The cow said: 'That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years.. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?'

And God agreed again.

On the fourth day, God created humans and said: 'Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years.'

But the human said: 'Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?'

'Okay,' said God, 'You asked for it.'

So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family.. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren.. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained to you.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing it as a public service.

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Howard Greenfield sends this one our way.BB

A crowded United Airlines flight was canceled. A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.. Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS."
The agent replied, "I'm sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these folks first; and then I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."
The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?" Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. "May I have your attention, please?", she began, her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14".
With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United agent, gritted his teeth, and said, "F*** You!".
Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry sir, you'll have to get in line for that, too."

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Sounds like Bob Corbin is getting back into his exercise routine.BB

The Importance of Walking:

Walking can add minutes to your life.. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $7000 per month. My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 97 years old and we don't know where the hell he is. I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me. The only reason I would take up walking is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing. I joined a health club last year ... spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there. Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise', I wash my mouth out with chocolate. I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them. The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say, 'Well, she looks good doesn't she..... .' If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country. I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,...... ..... just getting over the hill. We all get heavier as we get older, because there's a lot more information stored in our heads. That's my story and I'm sticking to it ! Every time I start thinking too much about how I look, I just find a Happy Hour, and by the time I leave, I look just fine.

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Jim and Dorothy Umphrey sent this one in. I didn't know Dorothy was blong. BB

THE BLONDE AND THE LORD

A blonde wanted to go ice fishing. She'd seen many books on the subject, and finally getting all the necessary tools together, she made for the ice. After positioning her comfy footstool, she started to make a circular cut in the ice. Suddenly, from the sky, a voice boomed -

"THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!"

Startled, the blonde moved further down the ice, poured a thermos of cappuccino, and began to cut yet another hole. Again from the heavens the voice bellowed,

"THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!"

The blonde, now worried, moved away, clear down to the opposite end of the ice. She set up her stool once more and tried again t o cut her hole.

The voice came once more, "THERE ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!"

She stopped, looked skyward! and said, "IS THAT YOU LORD?"

The voice replied,"NO, THIS IS THE MANAGER OF THE HOCKEY RINK!"

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Now here is some history from Ron Brauer .BB

Einstein's Theory

Einstein was born March 14, 1879. He would be 131 if he were alive today.
Few people remember that the Nobel Prize winner married his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal, after his first marriage dissolved in 1919. At the time he stated that he was attracted to Elsa because she was so well endowed.
He postulated that if you are attracted to women with large breasts, the attraction is even stronger if there is a DNA Connection.
This came to be known as....

Einstein's Theory of "Relative Titty."

Oh, quit groaning! I don't write this shit, I receive it from my warped friends and then I send it on to you. It beats the political crap.

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Now I know this is going to upset some of you who are from Missouri... Alan Benoit sent this in and he probably lives right down the road from you.BB

Four old retired guys are walking down a street in Naples, Florida. They turned a corner and see a sign that says, Old Timers Bar - all drinks 10 cents.

They look at each other, and then went inside, thinking this is too good to be true. The old bartender says in a voice that carries across the room, 'Come on in and let me pour one for you! What'll it be, Gentlemen?'

There seemed to be a fully-stocked bar, so each of the men ask for a martini. In short order, the bartender serves up four iced martinis... Shaken, not stirred, and says, 'That'll be 10 cents each, please'
The four men stare at the bartender for a moment. Then look at each other...They can't believe their good luck.

They pay the 40 cents, finish their martinis, and order another round. Again, four excellent martinis are produced with the bartender again saying, 'That's 40 cents, please. They pay the 40 cents, but their curiosity is more than they can stand. They have each had two martinis and so far they've spent less than a dollar.

Finally one of the men says, 'How can you afford to serve martinis as good as these for a dime a piece?' 'I'm a retired tailor from Boston ,' the bartender said, and I always wanted to own a bar. Last year I hit the Lottery for $25 million and decided to open this place. Every drink costs a dime - wine, liquor, beer, it's all the same.' Wow!!!! That's quite a story,' says one of the men.

The four of them sipped at their martinis and couldn't help but notice seven other people at the end of the bar who didn't have drinks in front of them, and hadn't ordered anything the whole time they were there. One man gestures at the seven at the end of the bar without drinks and asks the bartender, 'What's with them?'

The bartender says, 'Oh, they're all old retired farts from Missouri. They're waiting for happy hour when drinks are half price.'

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Fred Currier sends us this Q&A from the AARP. BB

Questions and Answers from AARP Forum

Q: Where can single men over the age of 60 find younger, women who are interested in them?
A: Try a bookstore, under Fiction.

Q: What can a man do while his wife is going through menopause?
A: Keep busy. If you're handy with tools, you can finish the basement.
When you're done, you will have a place to live.

Q: Someone has told me that menopause is mentioned in the bible... Is that true?
Where can it be found?
A: Yes. Matthew 14:92: "And Mary rode Joseph's ass all the way to Egypt."

Q: How can you increase the heart rate of your over-60 year-old husband?
A: Tell him you're pregnant.

Q: How can you avoid that terrible curse of the elderly wrinkles?
A: Take off your glasses.

Q: Seriously! What can I do for these Crow's feet and all those wrinkles on my face?
A: Go braless. It will usually pull them out..

Q: Why should 60-plus year old people use valet parking?
A: Valets don't forget where they park your car.

Q: Is it common for 60-plus year olds to have problems with short term memory storage?
A: Storing memory is not a problem, Retrieving it is the problem.

Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.

Q: Where should 60-plus year olds look for eye glasses?
A: On their foreheads.

Q: What is the most common remark made by 60-plus year olds when they enter antique stores?
A: "Gosh, I remember these!"

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We haven't heard from Joe Birindelli for awhile.BB

If Big-Chested women work at HOOTERS ...

Where do "ONE-LEGGED" women work??? You're going to love this Scroll down for the answer

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Gary Chenett is making a comeback after going thru his 4th or 5th battle with cancer. Glad your doing better Trooper! Welcome Back! BB

I am going f--king bananas after being locked in since April, guess it beats da box..... Still fell terrible.

Losing more Troopers does not help.......Doc told me I have 4 to 5 months before I can expect to be healthy again. If it's any longer I am going to take up smoking and drinking again. lol. Never thought this cancer would just kick my ass so bad.....My last ones were cake walks...........

So have been reading tonight.....thought you might not have this info......

I am sure you know Custer is from Monroe, Mi and there was also a Civil war battle in Raisin River, MI in 1812 ( that's like very close to Monroe) there during the Civil War 1861-65.
The Fourth US Calvary from MI surrounded the fleeing remnants from Mich of the Confederate Army and captured Jefferson Davis president of the Confederacy in 1865.

There were 7,500 1/4 Troopers there to kick there asses and run them into Ohio, (boy them Reb's won't like that lol). By the way do you know why the trees in Kentucky lean to the North???? Hmmm How bout cause Ohio sucks lol.................

We had 2,500 Troops from Mi killed in Nam.
We had 400,000 Troops from Mi who served in The Nam

Did you Roger my transmission? If so break squelch twice and run your ass off the gooks are in the wire.. LP 1 reports.

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I like these from Bill Bowker. Anyone with the initials BB has to be alright! .BB

A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office. 'Is it true,' she wanted to know, 'that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life? ' 'Yes, I'm afraid so,' the doctor told her . There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied, 'I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'.'

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Thanks to Smokey for continuing our "pick on a state" session. BB

Things I learned in South Carolina

1) A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road. 2) There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in SC. 3) There are 10,000 types of spiders, and all 10,000 of them live in SC. 4) If it grows, it'll stick ya. If it crawls, it'll bite cha. 5) "Onced" and "Twiced are words. 6) It is not a shopping cart, it's a buggy. 7) "Jaw-P?" means, "Did y'all go to the bathroom?" 8) People actually grow and eat okra. 9) "Fixinto" is one word. 10) There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner and then there is supper. 11) Iced tea is appropriate for all meals, and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like a little tea with our sugar. 12) Backwards and forwards means, "I know everything about you." 13) The word "jeet" is actually a phrase meaning, "Did you eat?" 14) You don't have to wear a watch, because it doesn't matter what time it is. You work until you're done or it's too dark to see. 15) You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH em. 16) You measure distance in minutes. 17) You switch from heat to A/C in the same day. 18) All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect or animal. 19) You know what a "Dawg" is.. 20) You carry jumper cables in your car - for your own car. 21) You only own five spices: salt, pepper, Texas Pete, Tabasco and ketchup.. 22) The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local gossip and high school football. 23) You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday. 24) You find 100 degrees "a bit warm." 25) You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas. 26) Going to Walmart is a favorite past time known as "goin' Walmartin" or "off to Wally World." 27) You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good hog killin' weather. 28) Fried catfish is the other white meat. 29) We don't need no Driver's Ed. If our mama says we can drive, we can drive, dag-nabbit.


COMPUTER TIPS

Wipe Files Permanently (All Windows Versions)

Think you deleted that file or folder? Think again. Just getting rid of data in the recycle bin isn't always enough.
When you trash a file or folder in the recycle bin or by using shift+del, Windows doesn't delete a file permanently. Instead, it marks those data blocks as safe for rewrite. The data may not be immediately accessible to the directory, but it's always possible that deleted data can still be retrieved.
Remo File Shredder shreds deleted data leaving no traces of sensitive and/or critical data using a variety of user adjustable options.
File Shredder lets you easily shred any kind of data, as well as clear unused disk sectors, so that recovery is impossible.
Using a standard tree view, you can drag and drop your files safely into the "Shred zone" and let File Shredder do the rest.
File Shredder offers 9 shredding patterns exceeding the standards prescribed by the U.S. Department Of Defense.
Select the data you wish to shred, select your shred standard and the data is gone.
File Shredder Features:

* Power file shredder to eliminate files, folders, and deleted data.
* Unused space shredder to remove deleted data
* Schedule shredding tasks with inbuilt scheduler to shred files at a specified time or at the startup of your Windows.
* Password protect the application for access control
* Several military and government shredding patterns to shred data
* Automatic live update to keep the software up-to-date
* Extremely easy to use, several on screen instructions, context sensitive help

Watch it in action! Download the File Shredder demo here: Click here to download


WEEKLY INSPIRATION

Healing for God's Glory Father, I'm praying for all troopers who are in need of Your healing touch... For these who are sick, have medical conditions, or have suffered accidents, I ask You to look upon them with Your mercy and compassion. we know our days are numbered and sometimes You have a different plan, but You have taught us that sometimes we don't have what's needed because we haven't asked, and so we ask for healing. May Your Spirit help us when we don't know what to ask, and above all, may Your will be done. Heal those with the personal faith to be healed and be merciful to those who don't. If any are ill as a consequence of sin, I ask for your compassion, to forgive and heal—as You healed the paralyzed man whose friends lowered him through the roof. Sometimes sickness or a condition may be caused by an evil spirits; if that is the case, set them free. At times disease comes as discipline; where that is true, I ask that in Your love and mercy, You grant repentance and healing. Sometimes an illness is meant to bring You glory; may it be so for these I'm praying for. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Thats all the news for this week. Check back next Saturday. Thanks, Ole' Bill

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